Equality and respect group takes big step forward after funding award to help work

May 29 2015

THE future is looking bright for a local co-operative which aims to raise young people's awareness about gender stereotyping and its impact on society.

THE future is looking bright for a local co-operative which aims to raise young people's awareness about gender stereotyping and its impact on society.

Tiger, which stands for Teaching Individuals Gender Equality and Respect, was set up over two years ago by St Andrews resident Natalie Bennett. However, it's only been within the last three months that the group has received its first lump sum of funding.

“We did struggle initially to secure funding, and was turned down on quite a few occasions,” Natalie explained. “But it seems to have all just happened in the last three months – it's great.”

Over £2.5k has been rewarded from the Police and Crime Commissioner's Community Action Fund, and the LUSH Charity Pot, which will enable Tiger to carry out their workshops in secondary schools, either free or at a discounted rate, for the next year.

Natalie hopes that building up a good reputation in schools will secure their long-term future.

The group is also one of Waitrose in Clifton Triangle's chosen charities for its 'Community Matters' scheme.

Natalie, who studied a PhD in young femininity, decided to set up Tiger, because she felt that young people were particularly susceptible to negative portrayals of men and women, and that there was a gap in schools tackling gender stereotypes and sexist bullying.

There are now six members in the co-operative, who all work on a voluntary basis.

Workshops carried out by the group have focused on gender stereotypes, sexist bullying, identity, gender representation in the media, porn and consent.

“While some charities look at specific forms of sexism, we try and look at all of the strands and how they connect,” Natalie said. “Our workshops aim to stimulate conversation among young people, allowing them to make the connection between what they see in the media, and what is real life. We allow them to share their feelings about conforming to gender stereotypes, and encourage them to challenge those labels.”

Secondary schools that Tiger works with include Redland Green, Chew Valley, City Academy, and Bedminster Down.

Besides educating youngsters across the city, Tiger has also run workshops on 'lad' culture at Bristol University, as well as held sessions for teachers and outreach conferences with the council.

In the future, Tiger hopes to educate primary school children on gender stereotypes, and hold workshops in the workplace, as well as branch out across the country.

For more information about Tiger, or if you are school or business interested in having Tiger deliver a workshop, visit: www.tigerbristol.co.uk.